NAMED AND SHAMED: Roma’s drug offenders exposed
From local mums and dads driving high on meth, to a 19-year-old McDonald’s worker racking up fine after fine for continually breaking the law and various drug raids, these are the people who pleaded guilty in the Roma Magistrates Court on Tuesday, March 2 for various drug-related offences.
Convictions that were recorded:
Roma father busted while driving high on meth
A father of two became unemployed recently after he was busted by police in the early hours of January 1 driving high on meth.
At 7.15am, officers intercepted Daniel John Bellville on Quintin Street and asked whether he had consumed any illicit drugs, sergeant Whiting told the court.
The prosecutor said Bellville told officers he had not consumed any illicit drugs; however, a drug test provided a positive result of methamphetamine.
Mr Parker told Magistrate Saggers that his client is 32-years-of-age and did have a job until recently.
“He understands he will be fined and have time off the road,” Mr Parker said.
The Magistrate fined Bellville $300 and disqualified him from driving for one month.
“You have very little traffic history … but due to the nature of your work, you shouldn’t be using meth and driving,” he said.
Young Roma mother busted driving high on meth, twice
A young mother of two was busted driving high on meth while on her way to take her daughter to a doctor’s appointment in Toowoomba.
The court heard at 12pm on August 30, 2020, police were performing stationary traffic intercepts on Campbell St in Brigalow when they intercepted Danielle Maree Brittain.
Sergeant Whiting said the defendant admitted to using methamphetamine a few days prior.
Then at 7.30am on December 9, 2020, Stanthorpe police were conducting roadside breath tests on the Warrego Highway in Yuleba and intercepted the defendant who provided a positive result to methamphetamine.
Brittain’s solicitor Leslie Reed said her client is 27-years-of-age and has two young children.
“On the first occasion, she said she had taken meth the night before and was driving to Toowoomba for her daughter’s appointment,” Ms Reed said.
“The second occasion, police advised it was a low reading and that she should have another saliva test and she did and it had a low reading again.
“She co-operated with police and pleaded guilty in a timely matter.”
Ms Reed submitted a fine would be an appropriate punishment.
Brittain pleaded guilty to one count of drug driving and one count of drug driving while the holder of a learner, probationary or provisional licence.
“If you are going to be the best mother to your kids, you have to get the meth use under control,” Magistrate Saggers told the defendant.
“Otherwise you are going to be without your licence and unable to properly provide for them and assist them in all the things they need with school and other commitments.”
The defendant was fined $800 and disqualified from driving for seven months for both offences.
The convictions were recorded.
‘Enough is enough’: Man offends three times while on suspended sentence
It was certainly not the case of three strikes, and you are out for Jeffrey Michael Wells who was given his third chance on a suspended sentence after police executed a drug raid at his home and seized cannabis.
The prosecutor fed up with Wells continuing to commit offences after being placed on a suspended sentence in 2019, pleaded with Magistrate Saggers that his sentence must be activated.
The court heard Wells’ home was raided at 12pm on February 12 and during the search officers located a plastic container containing green leafy material.
“When questioned, the defendant said it was synthetic cannabis belonging to him but didn’t say where it came from,” sergeant Whiting said.
“Police asked about the plastic water pipe and he said he was aware that the co-defendant would smoke cannabis in the house.”
Sergeant Whiting said it’s time that his suspended sentence was activated.
“The prosecution would submit due to having two extensions and it’s not a minor offence before the court, it is acknowledged that it’s not a like-offence, however he’s been given the opportunity and on the first occasion it was in relation to offences of drug use, and second time, wilful damage,” sergeant Whiting said.
“The prosecution would say it’s not unjust, after getting these opportunities, for it to be activated.”
Ms Reed said her client is 33-years-of-age and is currently on a disability pension and uses synthetic cannabis for his hand which he recently had stitches on.
“He thought it was legal and does have issues with reading and writing and told police he told his friends they could use drugs in his house,” Ms Reed said.
The Magistrate told Wells he must stay away from drugs, unless its prescribed from a doctor.
“Would be easier Mr Wells if you just stayed away from drugs,” he said.
“You have come before the court twice now, since being on that suspended sentence in 2019, you’ve breached it three times now and you heard what the prosecution has said, enough is enough.”
He pleaded guilty to one count of permitting use of place and possessing dangerous drugs.
Wells was fined $650 and his suspended sentenced was extended by a further three months.
His suspended sentence will finish in August 2022.
Local McDonalds worker sentenced over four offences
The Roma Magistrate advised a teenager McDonald’s worker that he should stop racking up fines for various offences, instead put the money towards his partner and one-year-old child.
Kurt Kevin Richardson, 19, pleaded guilty to four offences in court including possessing property suspected of being used in connection with commission of a drug offence, possessing utensils, possessing drugs, unlawful possession of restricted drugs and contravene direction or requirement of police.
The court heard police officers raided his home at 3pm on February 12 and upon questioning, Richardson told officers he used cannabis resin out of his bongs that he’s already smoked and uses it to smoke again.
“Just over three grams of cannabis resin was found,” sergeant Whiting said.
“The defendant said he did not have a prescription for tablets that were found, but said they’re were for sores on his buttocks.”
Ms Reed told Magistrate Saggers that her client is young and a cook at McDonald’s with a one year old child.
“Police attended his home with a warrant and asked if he had anything to declare and he stated he had utensils,” Ms Reed said.
“He co-operated with police and pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.
“He instructs he didn’t attend the police station as he works long hours and simply forgot but did attend 10 days later.”
Magistrate Saggers advised Richardson that he have hard think about the way he spends his money and time.
“You keep racking up fines for various things … you are doing these long shifts to then pay fines … it’s money you’re throwing away that could go towards your partner and child, rather than what you’re doing,” he said.
The defendant was fined $1000 and the conviction was recorded.
“You might want to think about the way you’re spending your money and time, but that’s a matter for you,” Magistrate Saggers said.
Convictions not recorded:
Man sentenced after leaving two syringes lying around
Jason James Brady did not appear in the Roma Magistrates Court on March 2, but provided a written plea of guilty to one count of failing to take reasonable care and precaution in respect of syringe or needle; and one count of possessing utensils or pipes.
Police prosecutor sergeant Heather Whiting told the court at 12.10pm on February 12, police executed a search warrant at his home on Fowles Street and located two capped, but used syringes in his bedroom.
Officers also seized a plastic water pipe and hose which he used to smoke cannabis, the court heard.
Magistrate Peter Saggers took into account his early plea in writing and fined the defendant $500 and forfeited the drug items.
The conviction was not recorded.
Man fined for possessing nearly half a kilo of cannabis
Lindsay Allan Combarngo walked away from court with a whopping $1500 fine and a lecture from a Roma Magistrate after police located nearly half a kilo of cannabis in his car.
Sergeant Whiting told the court at 7.40pm on January 7, police intercepted the defendant and co-defendants driving on the Warrego Highway at Dalby.
“Subsequently all occupants were detained for a search … at the time, a co-defendant threw an object on the ground next to the vehicle,” sergeant Whiting said.
“It was cannabis in an unsealed bag weighing 459.3 grams.
“The defendant informed police he was aware it was in his vehicle, however declined to be formally interviewed.”
Magistrate Saggers asked the prosecutor why the defendant is being held liable if it wasn’t technically in his possession.
Combarngo’s solicitor Laurie Parker interjected and said his client had knowledge the drug was in his vehicle.
“So, he’s pleading guilty to knowledge of it,” Magistrate Saggers asked.
Mr Parker responded saying his client knew it was in the vehicle and was transporting it.
“He is not a drug user and does not have drug-related offences on his history,” Mr Parker clarified.
The Magistrate told the defendant, despite the drug not being in his possession, the fine must be significant due to the quantity and because it was being transported elsewhere.
“I’ve taken into account your plea of guilt … it was significant amount of cannabis, nearly half a kilo that you were involved in the possession of,” he said.
“And the fine will reflect the quantity, but you haven’t been before the court for ten years.”
The defendant pleaded guilty to one count of possessing dangerous drugs and was fined $1500.
The conviction was not recorded.
“Whatever you were involved in or assisting in or on the edge of, I’d stop it if I were you,” Magistrate Saggers warned the defendant.
Man sentenced over incorrectly storing loaded gun and drugs
A man was eager to deal with his matter as quickly as he could after appearing in court for the first time in over nine years and pleading guilty to four drug and weapon related offences.
Ashley Robert King fronted court and pleaded guilty to firearms to be kept unloaded other than when being used, possessing utensils for use, possessing utensils that had been used and secure storage of weapons.
The court heard on January 28, police executed a search warrant at his home and located a glass pipe and bong.
“He said he used them to smoke cannabis and ice,” sergeant Whiting said.
“Officers located a rifle behind the seat of his car that was loaded and he told police he had been shooting roos during the night … he said he was aware of his obligations to safely store the rifle and had no reason as to why it was not correctly stored.”
Magistrate Saggers explained to the defendant the reason police chase people up for not correctly storing their rifles is because kids can easily break into cars and then have access to guns.
King was fined $750 and the drug items were forfeited.
The conviction was not recorded.
“I take into account you have not been before the courts in over nine years,” Magistrate Sagger said.